Chinese authorities have confirmed that the head of Interpol Meng Hongwei, whose disappearance was declared by his wife, was actually detained by employees of the Chinese anti-corruption Agency. He is accused of corruption and a number of other crimes.
On Sunday, the wife of Meng Hongwei, who also holds the post of Vice-Minister of public security of China, appealed from France to the public and the international community to help find her husband. Her address, which has become quite unusual for high-ranking Chinese officials, may show in a different light the widespread anti-corruption campaign in China under President XI Jinping’s administration. It is reported by the Washington Post.
As a sign of the urgent and possibly unplanned nature of the investigation, representatives of the Ministry of public security indicated in a statement that senior Ministry officials met on Monday to discuss the Maine case. The statement said that an investigation was under way against man because of the acceptance of bribes and other crimes that resulted from his “premeditation”.
“We have to recognize the serious damage that the bribes that Meng Hongwei took and the alleged violations of the law caused the party and the cause of public safety and have deeply studied this lesson,” said the statement of the meeting chaired by Minister Zhao Lieh.
Maine is the last high-ranking official to fall victim to the Communist party’s anti-corruption campaign. Most officials under investigation for corruption quietly leave for questioning, cut off from contact with their families and without access to lawyers, which sometimes lasts for several months.
However, in the case of Meng, everything happened differently: he inexplicably disappeared during a trip home to China in late September, which prompted the French police to start an investigation. The French government and Interpol have also publicly expressed their concerns in recent days.
By Sunday evening, China issued a brief statement saying that Meng was in custody, and shortly thereafter, Interpol reported that Meng had resigned as President of the international police Agency.
Willie Lam, a Chinese policy expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said that the Maine case shows how Chinese officials, no matter where they are, must first obey the decisions of the Communist party. “This puts the internal political struggle of China over international standards in the field of rule of law,” said Lam.
Acting President of Interpol, Kim Jong Yang said that he was not informed about the investigation against his boss. “I deeply regret that the Supreme leader of the organization had to leave in this way, and we were not specifically informed about what was happening in advance,” Kim said in a telephone interview. According to him, there is still not enough information about what is happening with Maine, and whether it has anything to do with China’s domestic policy.
In a statement made Monday on the Ministry of public security’s website, there were no details about the bribes that Maine allegedly took, or about his other crimes that he is accused of.
Officials at the meeting were told that they “should always maintain the political quality of an absolutely loyal party,” the statement said.
Questions about the judgment of man dominated the regular briefing in the Ministry of foreign Affairs of China on Monday. Press Secretary Lu Kang rejected the suggestion that China’s handling of the investigation into Maine would hurt the image of the country abroad, saying it demonstrated Beijing’s commitment to fighting corruption.
“It showed the Chinese government’s firm determination to fight corruption and crime,” Lu said. “It was also clear that this case fully demonstrates that the party is firmly in the fight against corruption.”
However, Lou did not directly answer questions about whether Maine would be formally arrested, or whether he would be allowed to hire a lawyer or allow his wife’s visit.
Grace man, his wife, made an active attempt to get help to bring her husband to safety. She said she thought he sent her a photo of the knife before he went missing in China to warn her he was in danger.
She promised to seek “truth, justice, and responsibility for history” for her husband and young children and “for all wives and children, so that their husbands and fathers would no longer disappear.”